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TRW (5): Loïc Vliegen winner of the Tour de Wallonie

TRW (5): Loïc Vliegen winner of the Tour de Wallonie

The final stage in the VOO Tour de Wallonie (2.HC, 27-31/07) was ridden between Couvin and Thuin. De Wanty-Gobert brigade with yellow jersey Loïc Vliegen and green jersey Timothy Dupont set the pace in the peloton, behind the six escapees. The race was made hard in the open areas in the Namur province, after a hilly begin of the stage. The calm returned to the peloton, with an attentive Loïc Vliegen and teammates, going to the two local laps around Thuin. The peloton had the last escapees in sight, meaning expectations about the Mur de Thuin being the decisive factor for the stage and GC win were coming true. They were caught with 3 kilometer to go, before Tosh Van der Sande took the victory on top of the Mur de Thuin with a slight advantage on his competitors, with Loïc Vliegen finishing 7th. The young Walloon rider took the win in the general classification, after having celebrated his first pro victory in the second stage of this Tour de Wallonie.

Loïc Vliegen:

« I cherish a lot of memories from the junior and U23 categories, but this is the first time I celebrate as a pro rider. This victory in the Tour de Wallonie is very important for myself, as a Belgian and Walloon rider, and for the team and the sponsors. I rapidly set my sights on this TRW after a short disappointment about my non-selection for the Tour de France. They've chosen the best strategy, this is good for the team! Our solid collective permitted us to take the win. We all suffered this week, and we gave even more than other riders by defending the yellow jersey. The atmosphere in the team was special, I don't only win for myself, but also for my teammates and all staff members. I'm happy to be part of Wanty-Gobert! I'm in good form for more than one month, and I concretized my ambitions this week. Very often they say a first victory is a trigger to make it 'easier'... I hope I can continue this succes! »

Stage 5:

1. Tosh Van der Sande
2. Bryan Coquard +0:01
3. Dries De Bondt +0:03
7. Loïc Vliegen +0:04
10. Timothy Dupont +0:07
54. Fabien Doubey +1:25
57. Boris Vallée +1:55
59. Jérôme Baugnies +2:08
73. Thomas Degand +3:55
DNF Ludwig De Winter

General classification:

1. Loïc Vliegen
2. Tosh Van der Sande +0:08
3. Dries De Bondt
31. Fabien Doubey +1:43
50. Thomas Degand +10:14
71. Timothy Dupont +25:58
76. Boris Vallée +27:48
88. Jérôme Baugnies +41:05